Newstead Farm, a storied equestrian estate in Upperville, Va., has been put on the market for $13.5 million.
The 353-acre farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western Loudoun County is known for thoroughbred breeding and show jumping. It is where Genuine Risk, one of only three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby and the only one to place in three Triple Crown races, lived out her days. She is buried on the farm beneath a horseshoe-shaped bed of red roses.
Newstead Farm was founded by Taylor S. Hardin in 1936. Hardin took it “from a dirt farm into one of the top thoroughbred farms in the country,” according to the Fauquier Democrat. Newstead Farm produced several elite thoroughbreds, including Miss Oceana, a multiple stakes winner who was sold for a then-record price of $7 million as a broodmare. After Hardin’s death in 1976, the estate was operated by a trust.
Bertram and Diana Firestone purchased Newstead Farm in 1991, 11 years after they won the Kentucky Derby with Genuine Risk. Bertram made his fortune in construction, building warehouses and industrial parks. Diana is the granddaughter of Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson. The Firestones received the Eclipse Award for outstanding owner in 1980 and were inducted into the Virginia Thoroughbred Association Hall of Fame in 1982. Their daughter Alison Firestone Robitaille is an Olympic and International Grand Prix show-jumping rider.
“Newstead Farm met all of our needs, and we knew it was ‘good’ land for raising horses,” Bertram Firestone wrote in an email. “At the time we were involved in many equestrian activities and it had all the facilities we needed. A broodmare/foaling barn and a yearling barn for our Thoroughbreds. A show barn for our daughter Alison, plus additional barns for our other horses. Diana and I enjoyed riding daily and frequently fox hunted with the Piedmont Fox Hounds. Diana loves to garden and the gardens surrounding the main house were a major selling point for her.”
The Firestones made significant improvements to the farm and circa-1830s manor house. They added several barns, bringing the total to six with 61 stalls. The farm also has six run-in sheds, 10 fields, 16 paddocks and a grass Grand Prix field. Bertam is most proud of the show-jumping facilities.
“Through the years, we have worked to make our show facilities the best they can be, beginning with a complete overhaul of the show barn,” he wrote. “We also installed a technically advanced footing surface in the existing ring complete with irrigation and drainage systems. This footing rivals any that you can find at competitions throughout the world. We also consulted with a prominent Olympic course designer to construct an eight-acre grand prix derby field. Finally, we contracted with a European company to design and install a 25 meter fully automated walker with overhead irrigation.”
The property includes two guesthouses, six tenant houses, a farm office, a greenhouse, a swimming pool, a gazebo, four koi ponds, and a half-acre pond with a waterfall and stone bridge.
“Estates like this are vanishing from the American countryside,” Bertram wrote. “Diana and I were fortunate to find this property. When we moved here we were able to take advantage of all the farm and neighborhood had to offer. We delighted in watching our foals being born here and watching the progress of our Yearlings as they were being broken. It was priceless to be able to watch our daughter train her show jumper’s here and mature into a top-ranked show jumper. We loved to take pleasure rides on the extensive network of trails surrounding the farm and thrilled at riding with the hounds. But time marches on and we have slowed down our various pursuits. We feel it is time to turn the reins over to a new owner that will be able to use and enjoy the farm to its fullest capacity.”
Listing: 33542 Newstead Lane, Upperville, Va.
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